Businessmen hail Philippines for strong Q1 growth

Jun. 01, 2007

MANILA — The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the countrys biggest business organization, hailed the strong performance of the first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 6.9%.

Attributing the countrys strong economic performance to a more intensified public-private partnership to move the economy forward, PCCI president Samie Lim congratulated President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and members of her economic team headed by Secretaries Peter Favila, Margarito Teves, Arthur Yap, Romulo Neri, Ace Durano, Alberto Romulo, Leandro Mendoza, Raphael Lotilla, Rolando Andaya, Jr., and Central Bank governor Amando Tetangco.

This leap forward has been noted as the highest in the country in the last 17 years and we are ahead of the rest of ASEAN with the exception of Vietnam. The President, her economic team and the private sector really delivered in rallying investors interest and confidence on the economy, Lim said.

The 6.9% GDP surge has been attributed to the intensification of activities in the services sector, which contributes 54% to the GDP; the industry sector, which contributes 32% to the GDP; and, the agriculture sector, which contributes 14% to the GDP. Current levels indicate that the three have attained 9.1%, 5.3%, and 4.2% growth levels, respectively.

This track ensures that the economy is in for a more stable and stronger growth in the next six months, providing the means to achieve the elusive 7% growth in the gross national product (GNP) that PCCI is advocating for, Lim added.

Lim also noted other factors that continue to make the economy vibrant. These include a stronger peso, a 3,500 record-high PSE index, an infrastructure budget of about 1 trillion pesos, surging OFW remittances of US$ 13 billion, increasing investments in business process outsourcing (BPO), tourism, property and construction.

Lim also credited the 2007 mid-term elections as one of the important factors that affected the movement in the countrys GDP. While we note the big contribution of these sectors to the strong performance of the economy, we note for a fact that the election spending across the country has helped trigger this strong growth, Lim said.

Lim also expressed optimism that with the implementation of reforms to improve the macroeconomic environment such as efforts to enhance tax collection, fiscal policies supporting pump-priming, effective debt management, and continuous checks to lower inflation rates, the economy will continue to grow.

These progressive steps will cause developmental effects to create a more stable economy and a highly predictable business environment benefiting the different sectors of the economy, Lim stressed.

The PCCI is a non-stock, non-profit organization comprised of 1,200 direct members, 98 local chambers, 122 industry associations, and 30 foreign business councils, all working together for a more vibrant Philippine economy and to improve the viability of businesses in the country.

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